Croker right to play after Hurrell bellringer
Canberra Raiders centre Jarrod Croker has been on light duties after his heavy collision with Konrad Hurrell but he will be back to full capabilities for Sunday's stoush with the Newcastle Knights.
The Raiders skipper, who taken from the field in the 16th minute last Sunday after trying to stop the rampaging Gold Coast Titans centre, said he would take his place against the rejuvenated Knights at GIO Stadium.
He returned to the field after receiving treatment but has been on lighter duties this week in preparation for the club's first home game of the season.
"I'm all good it's a bit unfortunate that it happened in round one and I was a bit fortunate to be able to go back on," Croker said.
"But I've taken all of the precautions this week I'm right to go.
"I went and had the assessment on Tuesday and I have got another one today that I'll breeze through."
Match: Raiders vs Knights
Venue: GIO Stadium
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Despite still being an outside chance of missing the side's crucial clash this weekend, Croker put his support behind the game's concussion protocols, despite the 27-year-old admitting he had been copping some ribbing from his mates on social media about his attempted tackle on Hurrell.
"It's there to protect the player, at the time, and I am sure every player is the same, you feel alright and you don't want to do the testing," he said.
"But it's in the best interests of the player and I think it's a pretty hard one (test) because I've failed it a few times, so I was pretty happy to pass that one on the weekend."
Despite another heart-breaking late loss for the Raiders, coach Ricky Stuart has stuck solid with the largely the same side, with only some minor changes due to Joseph Tapine's injured finger.
Croker said the Raiders were "shocked" in the aftermath of giving up an 18-point lead to the Titans but said the team had resolved to make amends.
"It makes it hard (potentially) going into the season 0-2, it's not dire straits or anything but you want to get that first win as soon as you can," Croker said.
"It's not a do-or-die game this weekend, but we've just got a massive focus on getting the two points any way we can."
Standing in their way is a Newcastle side that has displayed considerable growth early in the season.
An incredible nine debutants ran out in the red and blue last Friday as they earned a golden point win over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
Croker hopes by playing them in round two, there is a chance the Raiders can catch the Knights before their combinations gel even further.
"They've had a full pre-season but it's hard to compare that to match awareness," he said.
"Judging by the video they had a pretty good start last week, but every week they're going to grow and grow and hopefully we get while they're not a fluid as what they could be.
"It's great for Newcastle footy to see a packed stadium last weekend and for them to get the win in golden point to kick off their season.So, they'll have their tails up and they'll be ready to go this weekend as well."